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  #1  
Old 20-07-15, 10:56
vespasian vespasian is offline
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Bristlenose problem

Any advice would be very much appreciated.
I have a common bristlenose in a 95L tank. There is a fine gravel, lots of bog wood and some slate caves. The tank is planted with java fern, water wisteria, amazon sword and elodia.
The plec shares the tank with a few mixed platies and 6 julii cory.
The water in the tank is: Ph7.2, Gh8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20, temp 25-6.
I feed with tetra plec pellets, king british algae wafers, cucumber, courgette an occasional tetra shrimp pellet and the odd frozem blood worm (not all at the same time).
The tank is filtered with an eheim pickup 160 and also a hob filter. I also do 20% weekly water changes.
The worry I have is that over the last few days the bn has been trying to climb out, his whole body has been out of the water and I am worried that he could climb out of a small hole in the back of the lid. The tank and bn have been there for over a year now and I have never seen him try this before.
Sorry for the long winded post but any ideas as to why this might be happening would be most welcome.
Forgot to mention that there is also ayoung L187b plec in there too but they have both been living happily together for 4 months now.

Last edited by vespasian; 20-07-15 at 11:02. Reason: missed info
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  #2  
Old 20-07-15, 23:30
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Brengun Brengun is offline
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I don't think the oxygen supply is getting down low enough for your bottom dweller.
You should add one or more airstones, or air curtain or bubble wall or a couple of air sponge filters.

Also do you gravel vac the rubbish in the gravel? Over time especially a year or more problems can arise if the gravel is not maintained.
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Last edited by Brengun; 20-07-15 at 23:33.
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  #3  
Old 21-07-15, 08:00
vespasian vespasian is offline
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Thanks for the reply. The tank does already have 2 air stones in it and the eheim filter also has a venturi.
When doing my weekly water changes I also vac the gravel, about half one week and the other half the next week.
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  #4  
Old 25-07-15, 17:24
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unusual behaviour always makes me want to find out more... if this behaviour is consistant there is definitely something a miss....

dont think its an oxygen problem... unless plants are using up too much oxygen during day and producing too much carbon dioxide at night.... but you would have to have tank full of plants for this to happen... if your filtration is running 24/7 and the airstones then this shouldnt happen...

my next thought is your b/n has some sort of gill issue and cant get enough oxygen.... possible parasitic problem... or bacterial/fungal/viral problem....

keep an eye on all your other fish to see if they start to show any symptoms of discomfort....

also maybe recheck nitrate test... are you shaking the test bottles hard enough for long enough to thoroughly mix.??? if you dont shake well you will get low ball readings... 20% waterchange once a week may not be enough of a water change to keep things under control... nitrates might creep up over time...
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  #5  
Old 25-07-15, 18:51
vespasian vespasian is offline
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Thanks for taking the time to help.
The behaviour is very unusual and I am trying to think of anything that could be causing it. The filtitr and air stones are running 24/7. Like you say the tank would need to be full of plants to be using up all the oxygen. None of the other fish are showing any signs of distress. The platies are breeding happily (i know its hard to stop them) and the corys are displaying their normal playful behaviour, the L187b is also doing well.
I use an API master liquid test kit and I know that the nitrate test is not the most accurate but I do shake the living daylights out of it. I have done some daily water changes the last few days, checking the nitrate levels of my tap water as well and all seems normal.
I am now rather confused as well as worried.
Any other ideas would be most welcome.
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  #6  
Old 26-07-15, 11:05
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Hi all,
Quote:
unless plants are using up too much oxygen during day and producing too much carbon dioxide at night.... but you would have to have tank full of plants for this to happen...
This is actually a misconception, in most circumstances planted tanks will have higher dissolved oxygen levels than non planted ones.

When you have fish death due to low oxygen in a planted tank it will always happen at night when the plants are respiring, but not photosynthesizing. This leads to the obvious conclusion that the plants have caused the fish death, and right at the point of death this is correct, but....

Because plants add oxygen to the tank water and remove ammonia, before it enters biological filtration, the tank water will be fully saturated with dissolved oxygen at the end of the photo-period, and so will the internal tissue of the leaf. When plants are respiring at night, the majority of their oxygen usage will actually be from this internal oxygen.

In an un-planted tank low oxygen levels can occur at any time of the day or night, but the carrying capacity, the total bio-load that can be supported
of the tank system, will be less.

In tanks with similar filtration and stocking, one planted, one not planted, as the fish grow low oxygen levels, and fish death, will occur in the un-planted tank a long time before they do in the planted one.

The only time this scenario isn't true, is when you have very low rates of water turn-over, where local de-oxygenation of the lower levels of the water can occur. This is a particular problem if you have a lot of floating plants.

Assuming you have some water turn-over, like the OP does, the problems their BN is having could still be low oxygen levels, if the tap water has been treated with emergency chloramine? This often happens when there is water main work (new house build?) locally.

If you could try a water change with cooler water (rain-water?) and your BN returns to the bottom of the tank, then dissolved oxygen would be likely to be the problem.

cheers Darrel
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  #7  
Old 26-07-15, 12:22
vespasian vespasian is offline
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Thanks for the help.
According to my local water authority website there is no maintenance taking place at the moment, I have had problems because of that in the past though. I treat all new water with seachem prime. I will try to collect some rain water for doing a water change. The only worry I would have about that is that I live in a big city near a motorway and would worry about the presents of heavy metals in the water. would that be something to cause concern?l
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Old 26-07-15, 21:25
dw1305 dw1305 is offline
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Hi all,
Quote:
Originally Posted by vespasian View Post
According to my local water authority website there is no maintenance taking place at the moment, I have had problems because of that in the past though. I treat all new water with seachem prime. I will try to collect some rain water for doing a water change. The only worry I would have about that is that I live in a big city near a motorway and would worry about the presents of heavy metals in the water. would that be something to cause concern?l
Have a look at the Daphnia bioassay
Quote:
.... I use rain-water, and have done since the 1970's, in the S & SE of the UK you don't need to add much buffering because the rain-water picks up quite a lot of lime-stone dust from roofs etc.

One proviso is that in arable agricultural areas, you have the risk of pesticide drift in your rain-water, you can either filter through activated charcoal, or use a "Daphnia bio-assay". The bio-assay is a real scientific technique <"http://ei.cornell.edu/toxicology/bioassays/daphnia/">, because Daphnia are very sensitive to water conditions, but it just consists of putting a starter culture of Daphnia (either caught in a pond or bought from the LFS) and then checking that the water you draw off for your water changes has Daphnia in it.

Swimming Daphnia = your water is good.
From <"Getting the right mix..">.

cheers Darrel

Last edited by dw1305; 26-07-15 at 21:29. Reason: added link
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  #9  
Old 26-07-15, 22:26
vespasian vespasian is offline
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Thanks for that, I will have a read. That could hopefully be the solution to my problems.
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  #10  
Old 27-07-15, 18:16
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if you have cause to worry about heavy metals add some EDTA to you tank...
you'll actually find seachem prime contains EDTA in it anyway....
EDTA = Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid which bonds with heavy metal ions in the water making them inert... so i have been told
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